We are what we eat, and eating a well-balanced diet high in nutritional value, fiber and immune-supporting antioxidants is essential to us all, but even more so as we age.
Yet, eating becomes less something we enjoy and more a chore as we get older. There are many reasons for this. Eating alone just doesn’t inspire us to eat as healthily or as often, medications or health treatments may interfere with appetite and often come with dietary restrictions. Physical problems with digestion, lack of exercise, diabetes and even depression can all affect our eating habits.
Getting elderly adults to eat is often a great source of stress for family caregivers, so we’ve compiled some helpful hints to hopefully make mealtime more enjoyable and “productive.” Celebrate National Nutrition Month by considering some of these hints. Let us know what you think by leaving comments below!
7 Helpful Hints to Encourage Elderly to Eat:
- Water, water everywhere. Lack of water leads to appetite suppression and is required for almost every bodily function.
- Keep meals smaller. Instead of three large meals a day, think six smaller meals, just make sure they’re healthy and not snack traps.
- Bulk up calories with each meal. Add protein powder to shakes or drinks, shredded veggies to scrambled eggs, skim milk powder for calcium to pasta sauce, or a soybean paste called miso as a soup base for all the health benefits that come with it.
- Get their teeth checked. Maybe they can’t chew or are in pain, which is affecting what they can eat. Soft foods are better here.
- Put the power in their hands. Get their suggestions of what to eat and have them help out in the process as they can. Along with feeling more in-control, they may enjoy the eating process more if they’ve had input.
- Improve the dining experience. Soft music, attractive garnishes, calm discussion and consistent meal times all make for a routine of comfort.
- Make it tasty. Don’t rely on salt to improve taste. Experiment with kitchen herbs and sodium-reduced sauces for taste enhancement.
RELATED POSTS & RESOURCES:
Senior Nutrition – An informative article from The Help Guide
Caregivers Give Comfort Feedings For Alzheimer’s Care – Premier Homecare Services blog
Healthy Eating for Seniors – Article from Nutrition.com
Older adults are often targeted for fraud because they seem less savvy to scams, are perhaps more vulnerable, and are generally more polite. Elder fraud is thought to be one of the most under-reported crimes, which is probably due to the embarrassment that comes with reporting.
March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada and time to consider ways we can prevent ourselves and our loved ones from becoming easy victims.
A look in the news quickly turns up a handful of scams and frauds with elderly as the victims. Consider the Toronto elderly woman who told the Toronto Star how she was a victim of fraud at the hands of a personally-hired caregiver who conned her employer into handing over her Markham estate (article). Or, the still common “grandson” scam where a caller pretends to be a grandson in need, fishing information out of the unsuspecting, concerned grandparent, and ultimately robbing them of money, assets and dignity.
Fraud robs people of more than their money, it steals their sense of security and is emotionally damaging. It is common for elderly victims of fraud to become more reclusive, less trusting even with close family members, and less likely to open up and share how they’re feeling.
It’s good to talk about what constitutes fraud to your parents and together create a fraud prevention plan. Having a reliable, insured and bonded caregiver from a reputable organization like Premier Homecare Services is an important consideration in your fraud prevention plan.
Your Fraud Prevention Plan can include:
- Don’t sign any documents without carefully reviewing them.
- Hire bonded and insured caregivers from reputable companies such as Premier Homecare Services, not through private arrangements.
- Do banking in person and set up automatic payments, try to minimize over the phone or internet banking.
- Don’t speak at length with unfamiliar people.
- Shred all bills, notices and personal mail before throwing away.
- Recognize predatory schemes and lending practices.
- Reach out for help before lending, investing or spending considerable amounts of money.
- Don’t put yourself on the “sucker list” by refusing to sign up for free stuff, enter sweepstakes or register for contests.
Talk to a trusted lawyer or financial professional for more advice.
RELATED POSTS & RESOURCES:
Pharmacists enjoy an enviable reputation among Canada’s leading professionals. We continually rank them high on the list of professionals who are trustworthy. Now their role is changing.
As recognition of the expertise of pharmacists grows, there seems to be an acceptance of their expanded role – suggests the results of a study completed by Jason Perepelkin that was published in the Canadian Pharmacists Journal in March of last year.
The Vision for Pharmacy as prescribed by the Canadian Pharmacists Association on their Blueprint for Pharmacy website is ‘optimal drug therapy outcomes for Canadians through patient-centered care.’
Legislation in various jurisdictions such as Quebec, Saskatchewanand Albertais seeing key changes in both the scope of practice of pharmacists and in the levels of their prescribing authority. As pharmacists move to a more service-oriented role they’re providing a wider range of services like ordering lab tests, re-filling prescriptions and providing minor treatments. You can read more of these key legislation and policy changes.
So what are the responses to these changes?
Pharmacists of course, seem to be applauding the changes. Dennis Abud, Pharmacist and President of the New Brunswick Pharmacists Association says about the changes: “I’ve never had so many patients say ‘thank you.’ They are going away less frustrated and not feeling that the pharmacist is acting like the medication police.”
From what I can sense, most patients seem to have a favourable opinion of these increased responsibilities given our pharmacists. Yet, most Canadians remain generally unaware of all that their pharmacist can do for them. More informing of the public seems to be needed by pharmacists and the organizations that support the profession.
What do you feel about the changes? Please share your thoughts below.
RELATED POSTS & RESOURCES:
Pharmacy Policy Changes in Canada – Blueprint for Pharmacy
Using iTechnology to Organize Care for Elderly Loved Ones – PHS blog post
Public Opinion of Pharmacists and Pharmacists’ Prescribing – Jason Perepelkin article in CPJ P